NY Restaurateur Submits Plans For A ‘Monte Carlo Style Casino’ On East River

NY Restaurateur Submits Plans For A ‘Monte Carlo Style Casino’ On East River December 17, 2021 December 17, 2021 Carolyn Dutton
 Industry December 17, 2021 by Carolyn Dutton


  • Restaurateur proposes casino on East River
  • Monte Carlo style casino will have no slot machines
  • Top casino operators also vying for NY casino licenses

Restaurateur Michael “Buzzy” O’Keeffe has submitted his plans for a Monte Carlo style casino to the New York Gaming Commission (NYGC). O’Keeffe, who also owns The Water Club, a floating eatery on New York’s East River, insists that the proposed casino would instantly become a bustling gambling outlet.

He wants to build the new casino beside his restaurant.

Casino Will Not Have Slot Machines

O’Keeffe seems keen on including classic table games in his proposed venture but there will be no provision for slot machines. The casino would span 24,000 square feet, with a relatively limited parking space for 100 cars. The Water Club owner also said that the 450-feet open deep water pier could be a potential site for more gambling outlets.

O’Keefe also shared his reasons as to why he chose the East River waterfront as the location for the casino. According to him, the East River was the perfect location for a small boutique-style casino like Monte Carlo that could be expanded further without much ado. Moreover, O’Keefe vouches that the casino would be visible from the FDR Drive on the river. He added that the location was a less expensive site for his casino compared to Mid-Manhattan.

In his opinion, river gambling is the way forward. O’Keefe affirmed that an upscale casino would enhance New York’s reputation as the world’s capital and would be the ‘hottest casino’ in the market. The restaurateur added that high rollers would be able to visit the casino via the private ferry service and the heliport in its vicinity. Though O’Keeffe sounds highly optimistic regarding his plans, his proposal did not reveal much about his partner, who would oversee the gambling operations in the casino.

MGM, Genting Among NY Casino License Applicants

Casino operators like MGM Resorts, Genting, Bally’s, and Las Vegas Sands Corp. have also submitted their respective casino proposals to the NYGC. Over nine casino operators, including Hard Rock International, UE Resorts and Wynn Resorts have submitted their preliminary plans for the three casino licenses in downstate New York.

Carolyn is our legislation expert, with a background in law she is able to cover the current state of gambling around the world